Photoshop For Fashion

 By: Tom Gillan
When it comes to image-editing software Adobe Photoshop is the industry leader worldwide, and is used by professionals from a huge variety of disciplines, including those within the fashion and textiles industries. Photoshop is used widely within these industries, in a range of tasks, from initial conception to final presentation.

This includes adjusting professionally shot images from fashion shoots to preparing mock-ups and storyboards for seasons styles, to the creation of working patterns for manufacture, a design of repeat prints for textiles, as well as the finished artwork for published brochures, posters, and publicity websites.

In the first part of the process, the photo shoot, professional photographs are often taken in a mode called Camera Raw - this means that what we capture is only what hits the camera lens, with no automatic adjustments made for color or tone. The images are then opened up in Photoshop, and the various tonal and chromatic modifications are mad, usually by the photographer. In addition, Photoshop has many tools and techniques for correcting spots and blemishes, or dust and scratches which may have crept into the images in the photo shoot process itself. Photoshop also has a range of warping tools which serve to accentuate or tone down elements of the image.

The tones and color of both skin and garments may require some editing, and there are various methods for doing so in Photoshop. Masking techniques can also be utilized to collage several images together, and layer blending modes can be employed to add more subtle aesthetic effects. Photoshop also has various lighting effects and filters if more drama is required in a particular shot.

These images would then be outputted for either print media or the web. If the photo shoot happens to be a large one Photoshop also integrates well with Adobe Bridge to organize and review large collections of files. A web gallery can also be created at this point.

When the images have been finalized we can then use Photoshop to set up mood-boards, storyboards and mockups for presentation and publicity purposes. Artist's sketches may also be scanned into the program and cleaned up using Photoshop's filters. These will then be used as the basis for production and manufacturing of the garments themselves, often being then imported into CAD software for marking and cutting of fabrics.

If the garment requires a repeat pattern, this can be done in Photoshop also, although repeats are also created in Adobe Illustrator, as are the production drawings. Brochures, flyers, and posters are usually created in Adobe Indesign, but the images are of course first prepared in Photoshop.

We can see how the four Adobe programs integrate well: Photoshop for modifying photographs, Illustrator for creating line work and repeat patterns, Bridge for organizing images, and finally Indesign for compiling the various images into multi-page documents. If the company require websites as part of the marketing strategy we could further use Adobe software with the inclusion of Adobe Dream Weaver for the creation of the website, and Adobe Flash for the creation of animated features.
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